RTW: Best Book of September

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where the ladies at YA Highway post a weekly writing- or reading-related question for participants to respond to on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

Today’s Topic: What’s the best book you read in September?

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell – This one came highly recommended by both Agent Vickie and talented author friend Jessi Kirby. Let’s just say, I was not disappointed. Plot and Structure is one of the best craft books I’ve read and I plan to use everything I learned from it to draft, revise, and rewrite. Clear and concise, fast-paced, and full of fantastic examples. Recommend!

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – I’m not going to go into this one in too much depth today because I’ll be posting a full review for Fall Book Club on Friday. Please do check back then!

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles – I enjoyed the third and final book in the this trilogy more than the second book, Rules of Attraction, but not quite as much as the original, Perfect Chemistry. Nikki and Luis were both fantastic narrators with believable motivations and arcs, but I find this author’s style to be a bit too telling at times. Also, it takes A LOT of violence to upset me, and there was one scene in this book that actually made me feel a little nauseous. Fair warning to the faint of heart.

Forgotten by Cat Patrick – The concept (a girl whose memory “resets” every night, leaving her with no recollection of the past but with strange glimpses into the future) was definitely intriguing. It’s fresh (to YA, anyway), and quite well-written. Main character London was sympathetic and likable, and love interest Luke was adorable. I’ve read reviews stating that the conclusion of this book came out of left field, but I didn’t feel like that at all. I found it to be action-packed and satisfying. Recommend!

And, September’s Best Book of the Month: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly…

From GoodReads: BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break. PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape. Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present. Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

I’ve had Revolution sitting on my nightstand since March. It’s outward appearance is a bit daunting, to be perfectly honest. It’s part historical (not my preferred genre) and it’s HUGE (123K words). But, I’d heard some wonderful things about it (particularly from my sister-in-law, who loaned it to me), so I was determined to give it a go.

I’m so glad I did, because this is one stunningly sophisticated novel. While Andi’s voice is authentically YA, the book’s themes are mature, and the subject matter is very graphically addressed. Andi is an addict (she over-uses prescription drugs an effort to cope with her grief), there is much suffering in both time periods, and there are beheadings described in great detail. Seriously.

Because of all its intensity, Revolution is layered and incredibly rich, both in Andi’s present day narration and  Alex’s French Revolution-era journal entries. And Jennifer Donnelly totally takes you there. She’ll make you feel Andi’s deep, deep depression, as well as Alex’s unyielding loyalty.  You’ll hear the soulful guitar music, you’ll taste the crusty bread, and you’ll smell the stench of dirty Parisian streets. You’ll fall for Virgil, who’s subtle yet awesome, and you’ll root for Andi to recover from her loss and her guilt, and to reclaim her life.

Now that I’ve finished Revolution, I want to read the rest of Jennifer Donnelly’s work. I also want to travel to Paris and research the French Revolution and explore the catacombs. It’s that kind of book, one that broadens your horizons and makes you think more critically about the world around you.

Definitely check out Revolution if you haven’t already!

So, what’s the best book you read in September?


36 thoughts on “RTW: Best Book of September

  1. Rebecca B says:

    I’ve heard great things about REVOLUTION, so I’m glad you liked it. (I have to admit the length daunts me a little, too!)
    Also Plot and Structure sounds like just what I need–hopefully in a month or so I will start revising, so I’m in the market for craft books. 🙂

  2. crystalschubert says:

    Man! I almost picked up REVOLUTION during the Borders clearance sale, but I put it back because my to-buy stack was getting too large. I wish I hadn’t put it back now. *Sigh*
    Oh, and FORGOTTEN sounds a whole lot like 50 First Dates to me. I loved that movie, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      FORGOTTEN is like 50 First Dates, but only in that MC’s memory resets every night. Sure, she “meets” her boyfriend every day, but the story itself is unique and a very fast paced read with lots of twists and turns. Let me know what you think if you check it out. Oh, and read REVOLUTION… it’s amazing!

  3. aleeza rauf says:

    AHHHH I’M SO GLAD YOU LIKED REVOLUTION! um, yeah, sorry about the scary enthusiasm, but it’s Jennifer Donnelly–and i’m like, a rabid fangirl when it comes to her books! You REALLY need to read A Northern Light by her if you liked Revolution. It’s even better, really!

  4. Tracey Neithercott says:

    I’ve been putting off reading Revolution for the same reason: I’m not so into historical fiction. But then again, I’ve heard amazing things about this book so I guess it’s time to take it off the TBR list and start reading it!

    • katyupperman says:

      Yeah, the historical fiction aspect was definitely a turn-off for me, but those bits of the book are very well done. They aren’t dry or scholarly-sounding at all. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a read!

  5. steph says:

    I’ve heard great things about Revolution, as well, especially about the voice, so I can’t wait to read it. And well, beheadings!

    • katyupperman says:

      I didn’t know much about the French Revolution before reading REVOLUTION, Alicia, but now I find myself thinking about it often. I’m going to be on the look out for more fiction set during that time period. Loved it!

  6. Alison Miller says:

    AHHH! I almost picked up Revolution and am now kicking myself! Must read!!! And I’m going to check out Plot and Structure – I can always use help with plotting! Thanks!

  7. Jillian says:

    Yay, Plot and Structure! I checked it out from the library last year and really benefited, so when I saw a copy at the Borders’ final sale I snatched it up so I could keep it on my shelves. I haven’t read the rest of your recommendations yet, but they are definitely on my list.

    • katyupperman says:

      Yep, I had to buy PLOT AND STRUCTURE because I knew I’d end up marking it up, which I did! It’s full of highlighted passages and Post-Its. Hope you like all the others on my list. 🙂

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